Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 59–68

A meta-analysis of alcoholic beverage consumption in relation to risk of colorectal cancer

  • Authors
  • Mathew P. Longnecker
  • Michele J. Orza
  • Miriam E. Adams
  • Jesus Vioque
  • Thomas C. Chalmers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00053184

Cite this article as:
Longnecker, M.P., Orza, M.J., Adams, M.E. et al. Cancer Causes Control (1990) 1: 59. doi:10.1007/BF00053184

Quantitative methods were used to review epidemiologic data relating consumption of alcoholic beverages to risk of colorectal cancer. The data (27 studies) supported the presence of a weak association. For consumption of two alcoholic beverages daily, on average the relative risk of colorectal cancer was 1.10 (95% confidence interval 1.05–1.14). Other findings were: (1) the association did not vary according to gender or site within the large bowel; (2) results from follow-up studies (relative risk 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.16–1.51) suggested a stronger relationship than those from case-control studies (relative risk 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.12); and (3) the evidence supporting beverage specificity was not conclusive, although the results were consistent with a stronger association with consumption of beer (relative risk 1.26, 95% confidence interval 1.13–1.41) than with consumption of wine (relative risk 1.11, 95% confidence interval 0.91–1.36) or liquor (relative risk 1.13, 95% confidence interval 0.99–1.29). Because the magnitude of the association between alcohol consumption and risk of colorectal cancer was small, the findings regarding a causal role of alcohol were inconclusive.

Key words

Alcohol drinkingalcoholic beveragescolorectal neoplasms

Copyright information

© Rapid Communications of Oxford Ltd 1990